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ENA Electronics Blog

Reverse Engineering | Industrial Electronics | Servo Repair

Wind Turbine Repair

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Ever wondered what it's like to repair electronics at 100M in the air?
Recently we were contracted to do repair and engineering work in the HUB of a wind turbine. The wind farm was in a remote location two hours north of Sault Ste. Marie. Once the equipment was hoisted up to the top of the tower it was now my responsibility to unload the equipment and diagnose the problem. This turbine (now out of warranty) had some issues with the control systems inside the HUB, knowing our wind experience and ability to repair electronics the customer asked if we would take a look at a problem they were having. After diagnosing the issue in the hub I was asked if I wanted a photo at the top of the tower and this is what we got!

MOVING NOTICE

ENA Electronics is pleased to announce that our head office has officially relocated to:


1527 Upper Ottawa Street Unit 8, Hamilton


This conveniently places us directly across from our Electronics Laboratory.


Now almost double the size of our previous office, this move embodies the growth ENA has experienced over the last 5 years.


This leap forward/jump comes alongside some exciting developments at ENA. In particular, the expansion of our Reverse Engineering department + new opportunities for us in the Wind Energy sector.


The larger facility will allow us to better serve all our customers as we continue to expand. While staying in Hamilton, we can continue to help build the growth of the tech space here.


All contact information will remain unchanged.


For any questions or concerns, we would be happy to hear from you at: [email protected]

IMPROVING OR MODIFYING FIRMWARE

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Improving or modifying the existing firmware to add extra features is difficult without providing the source code (the original program in its original language), this is because, when a compiler compiles code for a programmed IC the compiled output is translated into machine code which is then downloaded into the IC. This machine code although not impossible to disassemble the machine code into assembly code + thus edit it, it is a process that is certainly not quick + can often result in limited results at best.

 

In situations where you need to edit or change the algorithm but you do not have the source code we recommend that you get in touch to see how we can help you rewrite your firmware.

 

We first start by reverse engineering your circuit board + finding out what inputs + outputs are connected to the programmed IC this allows us to make sure the functionality of the new firmware replicates the old. We then take these inputs + outputs + either replace the programmed IC with a modern equivalent or use the make + model of the original IC, buy a new one + then program it to have expanded functionality.

 

The benefits of redeveloping your firmware is that you will then be able to have backups of your new source file to use for future production + if your new programmed IC or microcontroller ever becomes obsolete you will have the source file allowing you to recompile the code for another microcontroller which is far quicker + faster than redevelopment.

 


Do you need firmware modifying or improving? If so get in touch to see what solutions we can offer you.

Servo Motor Repairs - Repair or Replace?

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Here at ENA we can repair various servo motor brands. Typically, and almost always a repair is less expensive than a replacement. Our Technicians undergo strict testing procedures that vary based upon the brand, model, features and firmware.

 

First, we assess and inspect for aesthetic damage. Photos are taken, and appropriate software is used to communicate with the hardware checking that the encoder/resolver is working properly.

 

After this the nameplate data and maintenance info is compiled by our techs for later reference if necessary. Next, the servo motor is meter tested for insulation and resistance, this allows us to prevent further damage to the parts, insulation and winding. The Servo Motor is then connected to our state of the art Mitchell System in order to check its electromagnetic frequency, encoder or resolver feedback and commutation alignment. We want to ensure everything is functioning correctly! We then perform a 100% component test including looking at to ensure there are no connection issues, magnet failures, or winding failures. Print outs of the test data can be given on request.

 

Once our technicians finish the repair, they reassemble the servo motor for cleaning and painting. Finally protection is added to the motor, this means that when you receive your motor you can be assured it has the ENA Electronics seal of approval.

 

Why not have a look at some of our previous servo motor work? As the GTA (Greater Toronto Areas) premium motor repair shop we are proud to offer free pickup and delivery with one of our authorised account managers, we've got you covered from Hamilton to Burlington, Oakville, Toronto and beyond.

Making Schematics from Printed Circuit Boards - Why We Love Reverse Engineering

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There are many reasons why a PCB must be reverse engineered for a client however it is worth asking the question why do we love to reverse engineering printed circuit boards?

 

One of the biggest reasons we love to reverse engineer circuit boards is that we can learn a lot from the way a circuit board has been manufactured. We love the challenge of taking a circuit that serves a purpose but is now unsupported working out how it was made + then making a replacement.

 

Sometimes we need to clone or copy a circuit board in a process that involves duplication. Everything down to the routing of the traces is copied + this means that no mistakes are made, this is especially important for those circuit boards that are EMC Seismic + EMI qualified, routing the traces exactly like the original leaves little room for extra noise or crosstalk on the signalling. It’s in reverse engineering circuit boards like this that we learn how to make replicas of technology that might be dated or have modern equivalents + we have the challenge of finding out where to source parts from, how to manufacture mechanical parts + how to assemble the product.

 

When it comes to feature upgrades or adding something new we love to reverse engineer a circuit board as we are allowed the creativity to make something great again or to add features that the client longed for but could never have, both situations give us great pleasure using our industry knowledge for your advantage.

 

Reverse Engineering can often feel like a complex + detailed painting however in reality often circuits are patterns + the more you study them the more you recognise the patterns + the easier it is to reverse engineer the circuit. Many circuits have standard layouts (often found in the application note or datasheet) these circuits help us to draw schematics + layouts of your design. The simplicity of this approach is yet another reason why we love electronic reverse engineering.

 

To see some of our past projects check out our reverse engineering projects page.

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